Once you earn your M.P.A., you can forge your own career path in federal, state, and local government; non-profits, non-governmental organizations; international organizations; healthcare; and even the private sector. As a manager, administrator, or high-level employee, you will implement policy, influence the direction of an organization, manage employees, react to the complexities of government, configure budgets, and advocate for public services.
Outlook for working with an M.P.A. domestically
Tough economic times call for increased efficiency and better organization in all types of institutions, especially in public sector and government jobs. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Career Guide to Industries, state and local government in particular are projected to increase by 8 percent in the next 10 years and job prospects look favorable for managers because of foreseen increases in the retiring workforce.
Non-profits and charity organizations will likewise see more need for the professional, analytical, and qualitative skills of an M.P.A. holder. Less funding and a constricted environment call for individuals who understand how to steer an organization through uncertain times. Since non-profits usually strive to address particular needs and issues, communicating the cause to the public in order to receive financial support will be an important component to your vast role.
Public administration abroad
While international application of public administration can take many forms, M.P.A. jobs overseas generally strive to develop free market economies, create better global security, and strengthen political bonds. As you can imagine, the challenges associated with public administration abroad are limitless, since there are so many complexities that occur on the macro scale.
Fortunately organizations like the United Nations (UN) have specific divisions for public administration that work to support intergovernmental operations, international policy research, information sharing, and provide guidance to countries in transitional periods. International organizations like the UN may offer you opportunities to travel or live in abroad, depending on scope and need. Take note, however, that as a public administrator working in a large organization like the UN, your resources will be vastly larger than if you work in a smaller operation.
Tools for finding a job in public administration
While the graduate program you choose should have career and professional placement services, and provide industry information, it is still wise to have your own arsenal of resources. Since more information never hurts, we've compiled a list of industry, career, job websites, and membership organization resources to help you network and find the public administration job you're looking for.
American Society for Public Administration (ASPA)
Federal Government Jobs
International City/County Management Association
National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration
Public Services Careers